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A LATE LOUIS XV ORMOLU-MOUNTED EBONY AND EBONISED ENCRIER
A LATE LOUIS XV ORMOLU-MOUNTED EBONY AND EBONISED ENCRIER

BY PHILIPPE-CLAUDE MONTIGNY, CIRCA 1770

Details
A LATE LOUIS XV ORMOLU-MOUNTED EBONY AND EBONISED ENCRIER
BY PHILIPPE-CLAUDE MONTIGNY, CIRCA 1770
Of oval form, the top with two pen trays, a central well and two containers, the sides mounted with Vitruvian scrolls and lion mask ring handles, central plinth drawer, on ball feet, stamped 'MONTIGNY' and 'JME'
6½ in. (16.5 cm.) high; 14 in. (35.5 cm.) wide; 9¼ in. (23.5 cm.) deep
Provenance
Acquired from B. Fabre et Fils, Paris.

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Victoria Scott
Victoria Scott

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Lot Essay

Philippe-Claude Montigny, maître in 1766.

This exquisite encrier, with its very pronounced Vitruvian scroll mount, is an early example of a small-scale item in the so-called goût grec style, the early phase of French neo-classicism.

Around 1754-1756, the first experimental items of furniture in this style were conceived and produced, notably the great ebony bureau plat made for Ange-Laurent Lalive de Jully, probably by Joseph Baumhauer (died 1772) and Philippe Caffiéri (1714-1774) to the designs of Louis-Joseph Le Lorrain (1714-1759), which is now at the Musée Condé at Chantilly (S. Eriksen, Early neo-classicism in France, London 1974, figs. 85-89).
Within a few years, this bold manner had gained wide popularity, and in 1763 Baron de Grimm was writing in Paris: tout se fait aujourd'hui à la grecque (ibid, p. 264). An encrier with identical Vitruvian scroll mounts, formerly in the collection of Clare, Duchess of Sutherland (d.1998) was sold Christie's, London, 6 July 2006, lot 36.

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